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Thursday, March 14, 2013

The corruption that encompasses

What you should understand is that everything that has happened since 2008 related in any way to the financial crisis is a lie.  Absolutely everything. It begins with the banks, but it doesn't end there, the mainstream media and the government are in collusion with them to hide how bad the global situation is and how criminally corrupt the behavior of the banks and their enablers was that created this ongoing debacle:
Back in 2010 I wrote an article about the way German banks used Ireland as a dark pit for doing deals they could not do elsewhere. It was called Ireland was Germany’s Off-shore Tart. It seems she was Belgium’s tart too.

What Sugarman’s story reveals above all is how no one in power, whether that be financial, political or media power, wants any questions asked or truths exposed.  Sugarman has been ignored by everyone in the Irish establishment: his bank, the banks regulator, all the Irish political parties, all the newspapers and I was there when he told his story to one of Ireland’s top TV journalists only to never hear from him again.

Sugarman was the risk manager who resigned from Unicredit when his warnings to senior management, that the bank was routinely failing to hold enough capital to protect depositors from a bank run, were being ignored.

Irish law says clearly a breach of the minimum holdings of even 1% must be notified to the regulator immediately. He was finding UniCredit being routinely 19% short. When he asked an independent company to check his figures they told him the breaches were as high as 40%. This means the bank was short billions. Such a shortfall means if there was run on the bank it would not have a hope of surviving.

Sugarman was ignored and told to stop complaining. He resigned.

A month later Northern Rock collapsed when a run on the bank exhausted its cash reserves. A year later the Irish banks collapsed.

You might have thought the Irish Bank regulator would want to know what Sugarman had to say. You’d be wrong. The Irish regulator has gone out of his way to ignore him. I have been privy to all the emails and correspondence and it is a shameful and tawdry story of obfuscation, lying and threats. Meetings where he was told he could come and tell the regulator what he knew, but that if he revealed any wrong doing by the bank that occurred during the time he was there, the regulator would have to report him to the police.
It's all a sham.  All of it.  The only thing of which you can be sure is that the various statistics are being portrayed in the best possible light.  Which, in and of itself, is rather grim considering what the reported statistics indicate.

Labels:

76 Comments:

Blogger Joshua_D March 14, 2013 9:10 AM  

Raise the gallows.

Anonymous JartStar March 14, 2013 9:20 AM  

As the end grows closer I suspect that we will see new capital controls and a tightening of the banking system so people can't opt out.

Anonymous Josh March 14, 2013 9:24 AM  

Sing, swing
Savour the sting
As she severs you, Madame Guillotine
Slice, come paradise
You'll be smitten with Madame Guillotine

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 14, 2013 9:27 AM  

Josh -- I think the lines you really want are,

"Here's a toast to the jolly Hang-man,
He'll hang you the best that he can.
Will you rise for the Hang-man,
His pleasure is that you should rise.
He's the judge and the jury
At the Jester's Assizes."

Anonymous Stilicho March 14, 2013 9:29 AM  

As the end grows closer I suspect that we will see new capital controls and a tightening of the banking system so people can't opt out.

"You can't quit me."
-Brokeback Bernanke

Anonymous jaciii March 14, 2013 9:36 AM  

First thing; the gubmint grabs the gold.

Anonymous Roundtine March 14, 2013 9:42 AM  

Argentines are using Bitcoin to get around capital controls.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 14, 2013 9:43 AM  

This is seemingly off-topic (although related in a roundabout sort of way) so apologies if its relevance is not immediately clear, but I was walking down the street the other day and I had an interesting thought, it made me laugh, so I thought I'd share it.

On a couple of different threads lately, knowing reference has been made to Thomas Kuhn and his book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions". Like a lot of people I read it as a snotty college kid. But unlike a lot of people, I recall thinking at the time that there was something fishy about what he was saying, something perhaps even unpersuasive. To be honest it's so long ago since I read the book, I couldn't even tell you now with accuracy what his arguments were. I just recall thinking at the time, Hmm, I'd certainly like to at least hear the rebuttal and the counter-arguments, but universities being what they are, his book was assigned on the topic and no others; and it wasn't my key area of interest, so I just let the matter drop.

Anyway, being as I'm the resident "no ideas but in things" gadfly and I'm just as interested in the human sociology of ideas and where they actually personally come from, as I am in the ideas themselves, I was thinking about the title of Kuhn's book.

It seems to me that its enduring popularity may actually have little to do with the content of his specific ideas, and more to do with the fact that the title of his book contains the words "structure" and "revolutions."

If there are two words that the intellectual class loves to use, two words that simply push their happy-buttons and send them into transports of catnip-induced bliss, they are "structure" and "revolution". It may be that the thing remains on the permanent syllabus simply because those two words send intellectuals into ecstasy.

If I trained a bunch of intellectuals in "The Revolutionizing of the Structure of Technical Systems through a Case-by-case Praxis", it would take them years to figure out that I'd actually just trained them to be auto mechanics.


Blogger IM2L844 March 14, 2013 10:11 AM  

Well then, Scoob, You should write a book titled "The Revolutionary Structure of Fair and Equitable Distribution". Your phone would be ringing off the hook.

Anonymous Edjamacator March 14, 2013 10:24 AM  

Nah, the title "The Revolutionary Structure of Structuring Revolutions" might get them off faster, of course.

Anonymous The other skeptic March 14, 2013 10:28 AM  

I am sure they will eventually get around to sending the crooks to jail just like in Detroit.

Anonymous tophat March 14, 2013 10:31 AM  

Well, if the system worked fairly and justly there would be no profit and no inequality. If you're scandalized by this, let me suggest not trying to look into how your breakfast sausage is made.

Anonymous zen0 March 14, 2013 10:31 AM  

Roundtine states: Argentines are using Bitcoin to get around capital controls.

A phenomenon that I am sure is duly noted by TPTB. It would be unfortunate if such a market experienced an extended flash crash, like has already happened, albeit briefly. You know, something no one could have forseen, and certainly not something anyone could have caused on purpose.

Anonymous sprach von Teufelshunden March 14, 2013 10:36 AM  

From Popes to Banking. People would shudder knowing what they have in common. Or, truly understanding the purpose of the Knights Templar.

Whistleblowers now? Bill Cooper was assassinated probably because he got careless. Being an irresponsible, ill-tempered heavy drinker, eventually makes one a much easier target. Despite all that, he might still be alive with us today.

The epitome of whistleblowers? That would probably be Stew Webb. A man literally "married to the mob." The man Alex Jones fired two of his staffers, for daring to interview Mr. Webb. The man, buddies with Tom Heneghan. (The two actually shared a presidential ticket in 2007).

One wants to understand banking and finance? I'm talking ALL the truly "dirty laundry." Pay attention to Stew Webb. Pay attention when he points to Gordon Duff. Duff, a man who actually worked with Leo Wanta. [1]

Understand all these, and count yourself -- informed... (otherwise, you're not)



-----------
[1] If we truly wish to talk about this WoT (War on Terror), then you must understand this terror of the economy beholden to us.

Anonymous TLM March 14, 2013 10:53 AM  

All is well, the DOW is about to hit a record high today!

Anonymous The other skeptic March 14, 2013 11:00 AM  

All is well, the DOW is about to hit a record high today!

The Department of War?

OpenID freeonus March 14, 2013 11:02 AM  

It's the same when it comes to police state and drones and surveillance and the stock market and employment, etc. etc. etc. - almost everybody knows and almost nobody wants to know. So, people from all walks of life just keep propping up the lies. And those who don't are accused of being wacko.

Anonymous Porky March 14, 2013 11:21 AM  

Leo Wanta does not exist.

Anonymous Sigyn March 14, 2013 11:27 AM  

If you're scandalized by this, let me suggest not trying to look into how your breakfast sausage is made.

I keep hearing that, but all the instructions I find for making sausage don't sound all that horrifying.

Maybe I'm getting the not-scary versions.

Blogger Nate March 14, 2013 11:27 AM  

Doom.

Blogger James Dixon March 14, 2013 11:36 AM  

> Argentines are using Bitcoin to get around capital controls.

http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/03/digital-thieves-pull-off-12000-bitcoin-heist/

> Well, if the system worked fairly and justly there would be no profit and no inequality.

if you really think a fair and just system wouldn't pay Lebron James more than it pays me, you don't understand the nature of scarcity or the law of supply and demand.

Anonymous Mr. Pea March 14, 2013 11:37 AM  

It's okay. All you need to do is take the chip! See? There is plenty of money to go around.

Anonymous Outlaw X March 14, 2013 11:46 AM  

"Argentines are using Bitcoin to get around capital controls. "

Gold and silver are my currency, haven't really looked into bitcoin but heard Max Keiser talking about it. Sounds off to me but I can surely say that there are many things I know about but economicsw is not one. Is Bitcoin another scam?

Blogger James Dixon March 14, 2013 12:13 PM  

> Is Bitcoin another scam?

I don't think it's intended to be. That doesn't preclude it's turning out to be, of course.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard March 14, 2013 12:14 PM  

I keep hearing that, but all the instructions I find for making sausage don't sound all that horrifying.

Maybe I'm getting the not-scary versions.


Ah, innocence.

Anonymous MendoScot March 14, 2013 12:14 PM  

A phenomenon that I am sure is duly noted by TPTB. It would be unfortunate if such a market experienced an extended flash crash, like has already happened, albeit briefly. You know, something no one could have forseen, and certainly not something anyone could have caused on purpose.

I wondered about that - if too many Argies jumped into the market at the same time... I thought about it myself, but my own algorithm works for our local situation.

We can no longer use Paypal here, since the Argies found out that you could set up two accounts, one in pesos and another in dollars, and arbitrage the fuck out of the exchange rates.

Blogger James Dixon March 14, 2013 12:25 PM  

> Maybe I'm getting the not-scary versions.

You're getting the versions for making sausage at home, not the versions the commercial vendors use.

So yes, in essence you're getting the not-scary versions.

Anonymous Roundtine March 14, 2013 12:38 PM  

Is Bitcoin another scam?

There are well written articles saying Bitcoin is a fancy Ponzi scheme. Soros called gold the ultimate bubble because ultimately it is only based on supply and demand, by that definition it is definitely overvalued, certainly today at more than $40 per Bitcoin. I used the mining software back in 2010 when it was still gaining steam and "mined" 50 Bitcoins that I am definitely considering selling. I wouldn't buy any as an investment.

Before the Argentine story, I would have assumed it will eventually be shut down or go to zero. The only positive I saw was that there are several imitation digital currencies, so the bubble probably has legs. One of the popular uses of Bitcoin is buying illegal items (such as drugs) online, which already attracted the attention of Chuck Schumer. I think Moldbug has written that if Bitcoin has a non-zero possibility of being shutdown by the DOJ then the future value is zero.

Now, Argentina restricted purchases of foreign currency and gold, but Bitcoins are outside their control. So if Bitcoin is able to function as a way around capital controls, it could have some sustainable non-zero value. And if it stays global, it could possibly survive even if the DOJ restricted access. I get a lot of hits on my Chinese "twitter" account when I post something about Bitcoins, and there are bitcoin businesses in China. However, I still think that the majority of attention is due to the bubble and people thinking they will get rich. Nobody gets rich in fiat money except the bankers, in this case the guys who have millions of bitcoins because they got in early.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 14, 2013 12:41 PM  

"From Popes to Banking."

Banking -- isn't that a city in central coastal China? If not, it will be soon.

Sigyn: "all the instructions I find for making sausage don't sound all that horrifying."

Okay good, so the Gorean kajira-chick isn't afraid of sausage. That makes perfect sense to me.

Just wanted to check my calibrations, and make sure I was seeing the world straight. From what I can tell, my goggles are on right, and the trains are running on time. The banks are corrupt, Obama is intolerable, Asher is Mister Magoo, and the Catholic Church just had the unimaginable stupidity to elect a 76-year-old as pope. Yep, guess I'm living in the real world.

Personal to Sigyn: Lesha!

Anonymous Josh March 14, 2013 12:44 PM  

Soros called gold the ultimate bubble because ultimately it is only based on supply and demand

Um...dude...everything is based on supply and demand...

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 14, 2013 12:58 PM  

I have no love for Soros, but frankly he's made so much money calling balls and strikes correctly, I doubt we can lecture him on supply and demand. Everything is NOT based on supply and demand, everything is based on what certain people can be persuaded to believe is supply and demand at a particular moment. No ideas but in things. HINT: If Soros made some pronouncement about the gold supply, he probably wasn't speaking the gospel truth for your personal enlightenment...

Blogger Nate March 14, 2013 1:02 PM  

"Soros called gold the ultimate bubble because ultimately it is only based on supply and demand"

Soros is profoundly mal-educated. He has no idea what mal-investment is.

Blogger IM2L844 March 14, 2013 1:02 PM  

I'll say it again. The inevitable collapse is inevitable because it is going to be intentional. The global economy will not collapse until they are ready for it to collapse. The technology is here, but the technological infrastructure and the social conditioning is not quite in place. Soon though. Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan et al. are furiously working on it.

Once they're ready and the global economy collapses, be ready for the new and improved economic system which is already being called for with "fair and equitable distribution of global resources" as the big selling point mantra. The intellectual class of useful idiots are already piling on that bandwagon in droves and the MPAI herd is sure to follow just as soon as there's a proper scare and the sheppards whistle for the herding dogs get busy.

Blogger Nate March 14, 2013 1:03 PM  

"I have no love for Soros, but frankly he's made so much money calling balls and strikes correctly, I doubt we can lecture him on supply and demand."

Not really. The vast majority of his money came from his partnership with Big Jim... and Big Jim was the one that made the big call.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 14, 2013 1:06 PM  

"Soros is profoundly mal-educated. He has no idea what mal-investment is."

And so he spoke, and so he spoke,
That Lord of Castlemere.
But now the rains weep o'er his halls
Without a soul to hear.
-- Lannister Anthem

Anonymous mapper March 14, 2013 1:07 PM  

OT: "Crazy eyes" weighs in in Francis

Ruh-roh. As a Catholic I am not encouraged.

Blogger James Dixon March 14, 2013 1:17 PM  

> Everything is NOT based on supply and demand, everything is based on what certain people can be persuaded to believe is supply and demand at a particular moment.

No one here has ever said that either supply or demand were entirely rational. That doesn't change the functions involved.

Anonymous Josh March 14, 2013 1:19 PM  

OT: "Crazy eyes" weighs in in Francis
Ruh-roh. As a Catholic I am not encouraged.


He received communion from a protestant! The horrors!

Blogger James Dixon March 14, 2013 1:19 PM  

> No one here has ever said that either supply or demand were entirely rational.

Well, thinking about it, I wouldn't put it past Asher. But the ready supply of his comments sort of proves the point.

Anonymous Gen. Kong March 14, 2013 1:20 PM  

The problem is two-fold: The politicians and media are all complicit in the lies and coverup as you say. That's only one part of the equation though. The other part is the idiocracy who are not only utterly oblivious to what has been going on, but actively denounce those who attempt to inform them of what has transpired. Ireland is a perfect example. A country which lived under the jackboot of the British empire finally broke free in 1920 only to willingly sell itself into an even worse empire headquartered in Brussels. They were looted and now have a Jewish migration minister importing Africans and Muslims into the place by the boatload. The could have voted no back in the late-1980s, but instead fell for the lies of squids. Fools.

Anonymous dh March 14, 2013 1:25 PM  

if you really think a fair and just system wouldn't pay Lebron James more than it pays me, you don't understand the nature of scarcity or the law of supply and demand.

This isn't the problem ,really. The problem is that Americans are willing and often do fund things - through consumer demand - that have no productive purpose.

Our leisure and entertainment spending is as high as ever, but we are not as wealthy as ever.

The problem with Lebron James or anyone "getting" as much as they do is not related to the money, but more related to the culture. The NBA is non-productive. Yet it's doing just as well as ever, more or less. That's the problem.

Blogger JDC March 14, 2013 1:28 PM  

Re: Criminally corrupt banks

Maybe the banks could be the fifth round of traitor in the ninth circle, given that even they can miraculously profit in what is soon becoming Tartarus itself - behold, how to profit in Detroit

Blogger James Dixon March 14, 2013 1:37 PM  

> The problem is that Americans are willing and often do fund things - through consumer demand - that have no productive purpose.

How is other people disagreeing with you (or me) about what to spend their money on a problem? Productive purpose is in the eye of the beholder. Or did you miss the entire subjective value discussion sequence?

Blogger Nate March 14, 2013 1:42 PM  

"The problem with Lebron James or anyone "getting" as much as they do is not related to the money, but more related to the culture. The NBA is non-productive. Yet it's doing just as well as ever, more or less. That's the problem."

entertainment is not mal-investment mate. You're very confused.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 14, 2013 1:45 PM  

@James Dixon

The mind is the terriblest force
In the world, father.
--Stevens, "Saint John and the Back-ache"

JD: "No one here has ever said that either supply or demand were entirely rational. That doesn't change the functions involved."

It may be, it may be.
It is possible.
-- Stevens, ibid.

But by eliding the substance of my earlier comment, you leave out the real point I'm trying to hammer into your heads: No ideas but in things. I'm not an economic theorist in the slightest; I am, as Stevens once put it, a Connoisseur of Chaos. Good for what ails ya.

I'm not trying to lecture you on economics, and I wouldn't if I could. I'm trying to lecture you about all those turtles underneath economics.

Tao/Can/Speak/Not/Constant/Tao

Blogger James Dixon March 14, 2013 1:53 PM  

> But by eliding the substance of my earlier comment, you leave out the real point I'm trying to hammer into your heads: No ideas but in things.

Well, if that comment made any sense to me, I might not have done so. It's not like ideas aren't things. I'll freely admit that I may be missing the obvious (it wouldn't be the first time), but it might also be that you need to explain more clearly.

Blogger James Dixon March 14, 2013 1:56 PM  

Oh, and if it isn't obvious by this time, my head is pretty much immune to hammering. It's not really a choice on my part, it's pretty much always been that way.

Anonymous Mr. Nightstick March 14, 2013 1:58 PM  

How many more days until we declare that Vox has lost interest and Nate is the de facto winner?

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 14, 2013 1:58 PM  

"my head is pretty much immune to hammering."

Good bloke. It can be a virtue.

Anonymous Noah B. March 14, 2013 1:59 PM  

"Sounds off to me but I can surely say that there are many things I know about but economicsw is not one. Is Bitcoin another scam?"

You can buy Bitcoin, but last I checked, it was priced several times the cost of mining it using an energy efficient, FPGA-based massively parallel computer system. In essence, substantial demand growth for Bitcoin is already priced in. I don't know if it's exactly a scam, but buying it to hold for a significant time period doesn't appear to be a good investment.

Blogger Desert Cat March 14, 2013 1:59 PM  

"What you should understand is that everything that has happened since 2008 related in any way to the financial crisis is a lie. Absolutely everything."

The trouble is, you say this and people assume you're a polemicist and your words hyperbole. No one wants to believe the truth.

Blogger James Dixon March 14, 2013 2:02 PM  

> but last I checked, it was priced several times the cost of mining it using an energy efficient, FPGA-based massively parallel computer system.

Hmm. Spare cycles are one of the few things I do have. I wonder what's involved. Research seems called for...

Anonymous Noah B. March 14, 2013 2:05 PM  

Last I checked, though, mining bitcoin isn't really economical on most CPU-based systems at current prices. But if your computer is running anyway...it might be worth the cost of the additional electricity usage. Not really sure.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard March 14, 2013 2:12 PM  

Okay good, so the Gorean kajira-chick isn't afraid of sausage. That makes perfect sense to me.

You pretend, but we all know envy when we see it.

Blogger IM2L844 March 14, 2013 2:16 PM  

You can buy Bitcoin, but last I checked, it was priced several times the cost of mining it using an energy efficient, FPGA-based massively parallel computer system.

Funny that. JP Morgan just invested in a shiny new state-of-the-art FPGA-based supercomputer to insert into the global financial system not too many months ago. I wonder...

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 14, 2013 2:23 PM  

JD: "It's not like ideas aren't things."

Quite true. But to get a bit recursive about it, not everybody understands (or maybe recognizes) that, and because they don't, they act differently than they would if they had. And therein lies a distinction.

Ideas are simultaneously things, and perceived as not things. The big problem arises when ideas cause people to forget about things, especially the things which cause ideas.

A basic example:

A: Caesar was a great general who united large parts of Europe and overcame turbulent political difficulties to forge an international empire instead of a national republic.

B: Caesar was a venal and ambitious man who saw his chances, and had the skills, cynicism, and ability to take them, at the expense of others.

Both things are true; but (B) makes you think about (A) somewhat differently, doesn't it.

A: Karl Marx was a revolutionary firebrand and influential intellectual who called for a worldwide social, political, and economic upheaval to create what he perceived would be a future world of social and economic justice.

B: Karl Marx was just another angry, annoying Jew who wanted to aggrandize himself and make himself feel important, and found an unusual way to do so.

A is the idea, B is the thing. They are both intertwined in one another. B does not necessarily negate A, but you can't really understand the thing unless you accept both.

Blogger James Dixon March 14, 2013 2:28 PM  

> But if your computer is running anyway...it might be worth the cost of the additional electricity usage. Not really sure.

I've got several computers up 24x7, barring power outages. I'll take a look at it.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 14, 2013 2:32 PM  

"You pretend, but we all know envy when we see it."

Why do you insist on envy? Maybe it's just a knowing wink and a nod. Life is good, from time to time.

Personal to Sigyn: Nadu!

Blogger LP 999/Eliza March 14, 2013 2:46 PM  

Lies, Lies, Lies.

A well timed sham. The 4closuregate and mort. fraud should have come out by 2005 but the decline/fraud was hidden. So people must now suffer under the insane leaders. And its pure tragicomedy.

Anonymous Sigyn March 14, 2013 3:10 PM  

Um, sure, scoob. Klaatu barada banana-fana-fo-fada and stuff to you, too.

Blogger Joshua_D March 14, 2013 3:20 PM  

Nate March 14, 2013 1:42 PM

"The problem with Lebron James or anyone "getting" as much as they do is not related to the money, but more related to the culture. The NBA is non-productive. Yet it's doing just as well as ever, more or less. That's the problem."

entertainment is not mal-investment mate. You're very confused.


But, consumer spending isn't productive spending. Consumer spending may not be mal-investment, per se, but it is non-investment, right? And non-investment has consequences just like eating all your seed corn has consequences, right?

As a group of people, aka the economy, we are either producing and saving seed corn, or we are consuming seed corn, and I think the consequence of consuming too much seed corn are far worse than saving too much.

Maybe that's the point dh is making.

Blogger Nate March 14, 2013 3:31 PM  

"But, consumer spending isn't productive spending. Consumer spending may not be mal-investment, per se, but it is non-investment, right? And non-investment has consequences just like eating all your seed corn has consequences, right?"

No. That's not right at all.

Dear God... The state of economic understanding is far worse than I feared.

Anonymous MendoScot March 14, 2013 3:37 PM  

Regarding bitcoin:

I was surprised to read that yesterday it fell to a low of $37. It has mostly recovered though it is now a few dollars below its high of $49. What happened?

The technical term is that the “blockchain forked”. In the video, I was very careful not to criticize the digital currency on technical grounds such its cryptographic technology, peer-to-peer networking, its data formats, methods of validating transactions, or communications over Internet Protocol, etc. I wanted to keep the discussion about monetary science. There is a point that I could have made, and will now make here.

If a currency is subject to Internet availability or other technological considerations, it simply is not money. It may still be useful for enabling commerce that would otherwise not be feasible—this is not an attack on Bitcoin as such. But (at least) one key characteristic of money is missing. Money must be beyond question by everyone and at all times. By nature, gold never becomes “unavailable” (though one could entrust it to an institution that suffers from unavailability of course).

When its “blockchain forked”, Bitcoin’s essence was called into question. Suddenly there were possible competing claims to the same coin, possible loss of coins, and certain lack of availability of the currency at least until engineers fixed the problem.

Blogger James Dixon March 14, 2013 4:23 PM  

> Ideas are simultaneously things, and perceived as not things.

Because they're intangible. Correct. And that does tend to cause people to react differently to them. Most people can handle a tree as a concept, a species of a tree as a concept, and the next step to a forest or forest type. But a lot of people's ability to abstract breaks down much beyond that point. I've noticed in the past that I tend to have problems once you reach the 4th or 5th abstraction layer.

This is related to the earlier noted problem with understanding pointers in programming, for instance.

> Both things are true; but (B) makes you think about (A) somewhat differently, doesn't it.

It would if I didn't already now both, yes.

However, regarding Marx, both A and B seem to be ideas to me. Obviously there's something fundamental about your viewpoint and the distinction I'm missing. Feel free to enlighten me or not as you desire.

> But, consumer spending isn't productive spending.

It can be. If I'm currently walking to work and buy a car and it enables me to take a much better paying job that I have to drive to, that's productive spending. There would be literally millions of examples that could be given of productive consumer spending.

> The state of economic understanding is far worse than I feared.

As I noted a long time ago, Nate. Dave Ramsey knows the audience to whom he's appealing. :)

Blogger Nate March 14, 2013 6:11 PM  

Consumers buy durable goods is absolutely productive spending. Consumers paying people to entertain them certainly increases standard of living.

There is more to life than stuff people.

Also.. consider all the good that get moved because of the NBA. Stadiums get built... merchandise gets produced and sold.

Its simple bloody daft to say that it isn't good for consumers to spend their money the way they want to spend it.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 14, 2013 6:30 PM  

@Sigyn:

Very witty, very cheeky, and also a smokin' set of refs. (Also, a tin... teardrop.) Well done. A-plus.

Workin' at the fillin' station, too many tasks.
Wipe the windows, check the tires, check the oil, dollar gas.
Too much monkey business....

@James Dixon

"Obviously there's something fundamental about your viewpoint and the distinction I'm missing. Feel free to enlighten me or not as you desire."

Oh I don't want to spend the day drawing you deep into rabbit-holes. You've got a basic idea of what I mean, and your understanding doesn't seem ill-guided, so I think writing a manifesto would be rather tedious of me, and boring for you. You could read Chuang Tzu for furtherance, if you cared to, and anyway his would be a lot better than mine.

One two three four five,
Hunt the hare and turn her
Down the rocky road,
And all the way to Dublin,
Wack the rol de ra.

Blogger Joshua_D March 14, 2013 6:42 PM  

Nate March 14, 2013 6:11 PM

Consumers buy durable goods is absolutely productive spending. Consumers paying people to entertain them certainly increases standard of living.

There is more to life than stuff people.

Also.. consider all the good that get moved because of the NBA. Stadiums get built... merchandise gets produced and sold.

Its simple bloody daft to say that it isn't good for consumers to spend their money the way they want to spend it.


I agree. My point was simply that an economy couldn't operate solely on entertainment spending. We couldn't all just spend money on NBA tickets and get along.

Someone would have to be investing in producing the durable goods to sell to consumers, and someone would have to actually be producing food and energy. So, if someone produces extra food to sell, then I would consider that "productive" in the general sense. Spending money to go see the latest concert would be "unproductive."

Blogger James Dixon March 14, 2013 8:16 PM  

> ...so I think writing a manifesto would be rather tedious of me, and boring for you.

Understood. That's why I phrased it as I did.

> You could read Chuang Tzu for furtherance, if you cared to, and anyway his would be a lot better than mine.

My reading time outside of a few blogs and technical materials is almost nil anymore, but I may take a look if I can find the time.

Anonymous Godfrey March 14, 2013 10:05 PM  

The corrupt Evil Empire isn't some far off place. It is here and now.

Blogger Nate March 14, 2013 10:56 PM  

"We couldn't all just spend money on NBA tickets and get along."

Its a pointless observation though... because there is no one out there spending all their money on nba tickets.

Anonymous The other skeptic March 14, 2013 11:20 PM  

It is clear from watching the news and hearing them claim that that worthless Diane Feinstein got the better of Ted Cruz over the Second Amendment tells us that the media are all corrupt.

Blogger James Dixon March 14, 2013 11:58 PM  

> You could read Chuang Tzu for furtherance...

Hmm. For those interested, see http://nothingistic.org/library/chuangtzu/index.html

As usual scoobious, Chinese philosophy is wasted on me. As Donal Graeme said, “I’m a Dorsai". :)

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 15, 2013 6:57 AM  

"As usual scoobious, Chinese philosophy is wasted on me."

In the general vast expanse of time, you'd be right, as Chinese philosophy started out strong and then hit a brick wall and stopped doing anything interesting relatively early on; 1,200-or-so years of the bloody obtuse neo-Confucianists would be a total waste of your time. Chu Hsi isn't worth the paper he's printed on. I'm not even convinced that Mencius is. (Then again there's a lot of neo-Platonic horse manure out there, too. And Platonic horse manure as well.) But Confucius himself, and the I-Ching which some believe he edited, are worth your while. Many Western philosophers argue that most Chinese philosophers were never actually doing philosophy as it's genuinely understood to begin with, and much of the time, they are or could be right. But then again, it would be well for them to perhaps put on their 3-D glasses and try to see how somebody else's totally different view of doing philosophy might have impressive value and insight in its own sweet way.

But the early writers, the founding fathers so to speak, are full of interest. Chuang Tzu, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Han Fei, Shang Yang, Mo Tzu, Shen Pu-hai, these are all very much worth exploring, you just have to ask yourself different questions about it than you would when reading Plato and Aristotle. I don't argue that early Chinese philosophy should supplant the Western tradition. But I do view it as a very good dietary supplement, a candle in darkness in its own right, and an unexpected critique. Especially good Master Chuang, whose only equal, in my view, is Nietzsche. Because as far as I can tell, they are the only two great philosophers (plus I guess Erasmus) who took the trouble to be funny -- and that is proof that they understood something important about the human place in the human dimension which others missed.

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 9:02 AM  

> Then again there's a lot of neo-Platonic horse manure out there, too. And Platonic horse manure as well...

Sturgeon's Law (Wikipedia says more correctly, Sturgeon's Revelation) seems almost universally applicable. :)

> Chuang Tzu, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Han Fei, Shang Yang, Mo Tzu, Shen Pu-hai, these are all very much worth exploring, you just have to ask yourself different questions about it than you would when reading Plato and Aristotle. I don't argue that early Chinese philosophy should supplant the Western tradition. But I do view it as a very good dietary supplement, a candle in darkness in its own right, and an unexpected critique.

Well, it's a lot like music. I love listening to music, and I have the physical skills needed to play a musical instrument. But music just casually waves at me from across the room; she never talks to me. I would be a purely mechanical player. So it would be pretty much a waste of time.

That's the way it is when I try to read them. It's all understandable, but it doesn't actually say anything I find useful or applicable. If you've read Dorsai, you'll get the above reference and understand. Otherwise, that line will be probably make no sense.

This is a personal limitation on my part. I agree that they're probably of interest to a good percentage of people, which is why I put the link in above.

Anonymous sprach von Teufelshunden March 15, 2013 7:32 PM  

@Porky March 14, 2013 11:21 AM

Giving you the benefit that that was satirical. If not, then did you hear that personally from Alex Jones, or are you just a very well paid CIA op and/or FBI #5?

To the extent Wanta is important to America (that is all Americans, who believe him or not) I reiterate this best via my posting here (klaatuaquinas)

Anonymous Heretofore Anonymous March 16, 2013 11:43 AM  

"What you should understand is that everything that has happened since 2008 related in any way to the financial crisis is a lie. Absolutely everything."

Definitional confusion for me: I had thought that only statements and allegations could be lies, not "things that have happened."

Are you saying that the things that have happened since 2008 did not, in fact, happen?
Or that the ostensible purpose behind those occurrences was a lie?
Or that the intended effects of what has happened since 2008 will not occur?

Scoobius says "no ideas but in things"; I guess I say "no lies but in statements." A statement may be implicit in an action, but it is the statement that is the lie, not the action.

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